There are many, many consequences that come with being convicted of a DUI. In the state of Michigan, the choice to drive under the influence is never tolerated. There are rarely second chances given, and the punishment can be severe.
This is true even if you’ve been charged with an underage DUI. However, there are some notable differences between an underage DUI and a normal DUI.
What Constitutes an Underage DUI in Michigan?
An underage DUI includes anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 and over the age of 16.
In order to be charged with an underage DUI, the blood alcohol content of the driver must be somewhere between .02% and .08% — along with any presence of alcohol in the body resulting from consumption for non-religious reasons.
An underage driver with more than .08% blood alcohol content could be charged with a normal DUI, which carries more severe consequences. This is true even for minor drivers, who are treated as adults when it comes to DUI charges.
An underage DUI is considered a misdemeanor. The sentence usually carries a fine and community service. However, subsequent arrests within a seven-year period could hold increased penalties.
Your first offense could mean a fine of $250, more than 300 hours of community service, and a 30-day suspension of your license. Your second offense could double that fine, require 60 days of community service, and carry a 90-day license suspension. A repeat offense could also include up to 93 days in jail.
As a first-time offender, you may be able to obtain a restricted license after your initial license suspension. This is not available for repeat offenders.
Your penalties can be significantly increased if there is a passenger under the age of 16 in your vehicle at the time of your arrest. This could carry second offense level fines, jail time, and community service — while a subsequent offense with a minor in the vehicle could mean a fine of $200-$1,000, an immobilized or forfeited driver’s license, and up to one year in jail or 30 to 90 days of community service.
The Impact on Your Future
If you are a minor, misdemeanor charges could be wiped from your record when you turn 18. If you aren’t a minor, you’ll likely carry the charges with you for the rest of your life.
This could impact your ability to find a place to live, maintain a job, or get accepted to your college of choice. For this reason, you should never underestimate the impact a drunk driving charge can have on your future.
One of the easiest ways to avoid this conviction is to get in touch with an experienced DUI attorney. Everyone makes mistakes in life, especially at a young age. Your attorney may be able to argue that, as a first-time offender, you should be given a second chance. If this doesn’t work, there may be other defense options available.
Contact an Experienced Oakland County DUI Attorney for Representation
Have you been arrested for driving under the influence while underage? An experienced attorney can help. For assistance and representation, contact our team of DUI attorneys at Dallo Law in Oakland County by calling (248) 283-7000.